IT’S OFFICIAL - THE JOHN SMITH FIELD at RAVEN PARK
On May 27, 2011 Mayor Jim Watson and River Ward Councillor Maria McRae held a ceremony at Raven Park in honour of our President – John Smith.
In this photo:
(Left) Steve Dean, NCAFA President (Right) John Smith Bel-Air President and Tyke Coach
The renaming of the Raven Park field to the “John Smith Field” was officially announced at this ceremony in the presence of John’s family, friends and many Bel-Air volunteers and players. This renaming had been formally approved on September 22 , 2010 by Ottawa City Council.
This honour was possible because of a city program that recognizes individuals who demonstrate excellence, courage or exceptional service to the citizens of Ottawa.
John has been a volunteer for over 40 years with the Bel-Air Lions Football Club as well as many other areas in the community and has been instrumental in recruiting many other volunteers. He has also been a key volunteer for the Ottawa South Bingo which supports over 30 charitable organizations. This is exceptional service to the citizens of Ottawa. He is especially well known in the Carlington area where he has been a positive influence to so many families through Bel-Air Football.
A few excerpts from the overwhelming support he received for this honour are:
“He influenced my direction in life more than 35 years ago. He cared about us and made us better people” - Terry Marcotte - Sports Director CTV
“He does it all, everything, he even cleans up the garbage left behind after games. How do we show our appreciation - One big way would be to rename the Bel-Air practice field.”
- Randall Moore CHEZ 106
“I wanted to be able to emulate John as an unselfish contributor to the community for the love of the sport and the players that come and go in our lives . John is more concerned about how his players conduct themselves on and off the field and did they have a good time.”
- Wayne Chorney - Past President NCAFA
“I have observed his tireless efforts in support of minor football in Ottawa. His involvement at the board level has been significant. John has been an excellent role model for players , parents and coaches alike.”
Stephen Dean - President, NCAFA
“John is easily the most respected member of our large football community. The Bel-Air Lions have acquired an excellent reputation as a club that plays very hard on the field but also one that respects the rules of our game and is as classy in defeat as they are in their many victories.”
- Sandy Ruckstuhl- President, Myers Riders
“It is John Smith’s leadership, dedication and commitment that inspires so many to volunteer their time and energy. Renaming the field in his name will not only provide recognition of his tireless efforts but will serve to remind future players of the importance of such dedication, commitment and service to the community.”
Janet Crupi - Bel-Air Vice President
Congratulations to John who has so positively affected us all and is most deserving of this honour.
Click HERE for ceremony photos